Boxing’s most dominant middleweight, Kazakhstan’s Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs), is headed to Ryota Murata’s native Japan for a long-awaited title unification fight against the WBA’s two-time middleweight champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs). Golovkin vs. Murata will take place on December 29 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and will be broadcast live to over 200 countries and territories, including the United States, exclusively on DAZN. The fight is promoted by Teiken Promotions Inc. in association with GGG Promotions (excluding Japan and Kazakhstan).
Golovkin and Murata will square off in what is arguably boxing’s most historic weight class in a matchup of two-time world champions and Olympic medalists. A winning percentage of over 93% is attained by their combined record of 57-3-1, 49 KOs, with 86% of their victories coming via knockout.
A country where boxing is very popular, Golovkin said, “I am really excited to be bringing the Big Drama Show to Japan.”
“Ryota Murata has a stellar record as a professional wrestler.
When we finally meet in the ring to unify our titles, it will be a momentous occasion.
We’re going to put on a great show for the fans.”
Going into this fight, Golovkin has successfully defended his world championship every year since 2010, and he’ll be looking to add to that record.
In the middle of his second reign as a middleweight world champion, he returns to the ring.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko, a three-time world title challenger, was defeated by unanimous decision by middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in 2019.
The Madison Square Garden crowd was on its feet for the entire 12 rounds of a ferocious toe-to-toe slugfest.
It was widely regarded as the fight of the year by many.
Golovkin’s final fight, on December 18, 2020, against mandatory challenger Kamil Szeremeta, he scored four knockdowns and a seventh-round stoppage to secure a record 21st successful defense of his middleweight title.
Golovkin’s Big Drama Show has sold out Madison Square Garden, The O2 in London, the Fabulous Forum and StubHub Center in Los Angeles, and the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
For the first time, he’ll be fighting in Japan.
In addition to the millions of people who have watched him on pay-per-view, premium cable, and DAZN during his 11 years of dominance in the middleweight division.
As a middleweight, he won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
After avenging losses in immediate rematches, Murata has won the world title twice.
Dethroning Hassan N’Dam in the seventh round after losing a split decision on May 20, 2017, for the vacant WBA middleweight title was achieved on October 22, 2017, five months later.
Reigning champion Emanuele Blandamura was stopped in the 8th round by Murata on April 15, 2018. However, Murata lost his title to Rob Brant via unanimous decision on October 20, 2018.
Murata reclaimed the WBA middleweight title on July 12, 2019, by defeating Brant in the second round.
Murata successfully defended his title with a fifth-round TKO victory over once-beaten Steven Butler before the pandemic.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Murata, one of Japan’s most popular athletes, won the middleweight gold medal in the men’s middleweight division.
After Takao Sakurai in 1964, this was Japan’s first gold medal for a boxer in a weight class other than bantamweight or flyweight.
Murata also became Japan’s 100th Olympic gold medalist.
Murata has won eight of his last ten fights via stoppage.
“Gennadiy Golovkin is the man I’ve been training for my entire amateur and professional boxing career.
It will determine my place in the middleweight division and the history of boxing if I win this fight “”Murata” was the reply.
“In the middleweight division, Gennadiy Golovkin has long been the standard-bearer.
He remains undefeated in my eyes. I hold him in the utmost regard. The pandemic has kept me from fighting for nearly two years, but I’ve put that time to good use by working with my trainers to improve my physical conditioning and increase the power of my punches. Because Japan is hosting this fight, I’m especially happy. Having the opportunity to serve in this capacity is a huge honor for me.”